Each day, we will randomly highlight one service member’s life, and include links and stories. We choose to never forget, and this is our way, before the run, to remember our fallen service members.
Cpl. Kemaphoom A. Chanawongse enlisted shortly after graduating from Waterford (Conn.) High School in 1999 over the objections of his mother, Tan Patchem. “He understood it was dangerous, and he was proud of doing it,” she said. Chanawongse died after his unit came under attack while attempting to secure a bridge. He had been listed as missing until April 16. Chanawongse, who came to the United States from Thailand at age 9, played youth soccer and planned from a young age to join the military. His grandfather is a veteran of the Thai air force. He was known to members of his unit as “Chuckles” for his sense of humor, and one friend said the avid snowboarder was talkative and outgoing: “Every time you turn around, he’s gone talking to somebody,” said Steve Cava, 22. But he also had a strong sense of duty, his parents said, and had a Marines tattoo on his arm: “U.S. Marine, made in Parris Island.” “He did it without fear and without delay, even one minute,” said his stepfather, Paul Patchem.
Information for this story was acquired from In Remembrance.
We will run for Ahn on June 15, 2008 outside Big Bear Lake, California.
Additional links where you may learn more about Ahn.
Faces of the Fallen